State health leaders have designated an Ebola treatment facility in Oklahoma City.
A decommissioned building at OU Medical Center will soon become a specialized unit for any confirmed Ebola patients in our state.
The state health department said Garrison Tower at OU Medical Center is perfect because it is isolated from other buildings.
Plumbers and electricians were already at work turning it into the state's new treatment facility for any confirmed Ebola cases.
OU Medical Center will operate it.
The Garrison Tower building was no longer used for any patients and is completely separate from all other patient facilities.
State health leaders said Oklahoma needed to take Ebola preparedness to the next level.
They cited new monitoring guidelines for returning passengers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as the hospitalization of a Tulsa County patient who had Ebola-like symptoms, but later tested positive for malaria.
Just like other Ebola treatment facilities across the US, Oklahoma's treatment facility will have isolation and biohazard areas.
It will also have lab space in a negative airflow environment, which means a ventilation system that prevents cross-contamination to other rooms.
A specially trained infectious disease response team will staff the treatment center.
Commissioner of Health Dr. Terry Cline released this statement:
"While our Oklahoma hospitals have each been preparing for weeks and are capable of treating an Ebola patient, this collaborative effort with OU Medical Center taking the lead will better prepare our state and healthcare system should the need arise."
OU Medical Center would not let any cameras inside the facility.
A spokesperson said the construction process will take three to four weeks to complete.